Long-time History professor passes away

Jack Thacker

Herald Staff

Last Wednesday, Nov. 18, Jack Thacker, a professor in the history department since the 1960s, passed away at the age of 75. 

According to his obituary, Thacker had been in the hospital for an extended period of time prior to his passing. He is survived by his wife, Margaret Thacker, sister, Janice Elliot (Robert), brother, John Edward Thacker, and “several nieces and nephews,” the obituary states.

Thacker began his career on the Hill in 1964 when WKU was still Western Kentucky State Teacher’s College, according to a faculty and staff-wide email sent by Larry Snyder, interim dean for Potter College of Arts & Letters.

He would continue teaching in the history department for the next 51 years, specializing in classes surrounding military history. He won the University Award for Teaching in 1971 and was a visiting professor at West Point in 1982.  

“Countless teachers and graduates of our ROTC program heard Jack wax eloquent about the historical significance of the Peloponnesian War or the tragedy of the Battle of Gettysburg,” Snyder said in the email. “Somehow, he found a way to make the past live.”

Funeral services will be held at J.C Kirby & Son Funeral Home on Monday, Nov. 23 at 2:30 p.m. 

“Jack was also a respected colleague and mentor for a long line of junior faculty.” Snyder said. “I’m not sure they make them like Jack anymore.” 

The Herald will have a longer version of this story in its next print edition.